Tuesday, July 17

Faugheen 50 Road Race – Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd July 2018

Grids are full, with only limited room in the 125cc, 250cc/400cc Championships and they look fantastic!  It’s almost as if it’s the complete list of Irish Road Racing ranking from whose leading the Championship in each and every class from top to bottom! Practically every racer has confirmed entry. The list is too long for each class to include below, so I have just highlighted those few generally at the top of their classes.

Leading the charge in Faugheen this year in the National classes is Derek McGee,
Derek Sheils, Michael Sweeney, Paul Jordan, Thomas Maxwell, Kevin Fitzpatrick and circuit newcomer Davy Todd and not forgetting Club Members Brian McCormack and Graham Kennedy who will all be battling for the Open, Grand Final and 600cc Championship titles.  Brian McCormack will be riding his newly club sponsored 600cc, the Faugheen 50 600cc, all Club members would like to wish Brian the very best of luck on his new Faugheen machine!   Without exception, the grids for these National classes have Ireland’s top racers in them.  Should be lots of exciting clashes!  The Supertwins/650cc Championship is by far the biggest grid and if everyone turns up, the there will be a non-qualifier/B race.

The Support grids are led by William Hara, Wayne Sheehan, Darragh Burke, John Cahill, Michael Browne, Matt Donaldson and Club member Tommy Heaphy all vying for top positions and Championship points. Again, all those leading their classes from top to bottom will be there.
The Classic racing this year is proving to be an eye catcher with tough battles, with
all the top racers in each class coming to Faugheen, these include Barry Davidson, Ed Manly, Sean Leonard, Richard Ford, Brian Mateer, Philip Shaw, Robert McCrum and Herbie Ronan to name but a few.  

Again, all those leading their respective classes from top to bottom will be there.
The narrow roads of Faugheen are buzzing with activity with the build up to the races
around our fantastic and challenging 2.2 mile circuit. Roads close early, we are hoping to get Newcomers out on the grid around 12noon on Saturday and racing will start at 11am on Sunday. With many of the top Irish road racers competing at this national round of the road racing calendar, spectators will have a weekend of pure speed with riders travelling at speeds in excess of 180 mph on closed public roads with viewing vantage points so close you can see the rider’s eyes as they pass.  Then later you can meet the same riders in the paddock and see how very normal and down to earth they are without their helmet on.

I would like to ask all spectators to please watch the racing in the safe allocated zones and observe the Race Marshals instructions and advice. Viewing points on the circuit are noted in the circuit map inside the Club’s programme.  I would also like to thank all of our sponsors, all officials for attending (we could not run the weekend’s racing without them) and a big thanks to all the racers who have confirmed entry and to all of you, the spectators; we hope you have an enjoyable and safe time watching the racing.

Sunday, July 15

Four from Fore for McGee - Walderstown Race of the South Results

Derek McGee was the worthy champion and Man of the Meeting today in Walderstown, winning all of his 4 entered races.

Beginning with a win in Open race, McGee set out to impress on his home track. The Cionn Torc MCC Open race was tight initially but, McGee gradually extended his lead to win from an impressive Davey Todd and a superb ride from local Thomas Maxwell in 3rd.

Next up was the Mangan Turnkey Fit out Solutions Supersport race over laps of the wet track. Again McGee gradually pulled away from Todd and the podium was completed by Kevin Fitzpatrick who rode brilliantly in the conditions.

After a brief rest while the Classics raced, McGee was back out again for the Dog and Duck sponsored Supertwin race. Again Davey Todd would be McGee’s closest rival but, the Mullingar missile built on previous performances and would eventually win by 13 seconds on the impeccable Ryan Farquhar built KMR Kawasaki. Limerick native James Chawke rode incredibly well also in the race to finish a brilliant 3rd place.

The Grand Final front row comprised of Derek McGee, Davey Todd, Micko Sweeney and Thomas Maxwell. Todd got a blinding start and led the first lap. McGee overhauled Todd and steadily increased his lead over the 6 lap race. Another fine performance from Thomas Maxwell saw him placed 3rd 4 seconds behind 2nd place Todd and race winner Derek McGee.

The Padraig Campbell Junior Support race was won by the younger of the Chawke brothers Liam from Daryl Anderson and Michael Gibbons in 3rd. After taking a few years away from racing, Michael Gillan is back and he was 4th.

Wayne Sheehan won the Conimac PTY Senior Support Non-Championship race from John Cahill and Daryl Anderson collected his second podium of the day with 3rd place in the 6 lap race on a drying but, testing track. In the Niall Scollan sponsored Senior Support Championship race, Wayne Sheehan took the win from Noel Smith and Matt Donaldson was 3rd.

In Classic racing, the Mary Nash 1000cc race was won by Robert McCrum on the Westlake from Richard Ford and Philip Shaw while in the 500cc race; Ed Manly was the victor from rival Barry Davidson. Gary Jamison was third in the restarted race. In the 250/350 race sponsored by Fore MCRC Brian Mateer picked up a win in the 250’s from Richard Ford and Philip Shaw. In the 350 race, Barry Davidson was a runaway winner from Ed Manly in 2nd and the popular Herbie Ronan in 3rd.

Thomas Molloy took top step in the Junior Support non-qualifiers race beating RJ Woolsey in the process and Dunsany Racing’s Dominic Cottrell was 3rd riding well. The Seven Wonders Bar sponsored the 400cc championship race. Daryl Tweed won this from Stephen Morrison in 2nd and Brian Loughlin in 3rd.

A damp start to the day made the circuit tricky all round but, all races went off without incident with the exception of the 500-1000cc Classic.

Credit must be extended to the Club running the races like clockwork in horribly wet conditions and also to their hard working assistants placed around the circuit. Even with the weather and stoppages, all racing was completed by 4.30.

Words and images (c)  Andy Quinn

Saturday, July 14

USBK Championship - July 21\22 Bishopscourt

USBK Championship returns after a summer break for round 5 of the Championship promoted by the Mid Antrim 150 Club and sponsored by MJF Building Services.
Practice at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit will start on Saturday at 9am for scheduled practice followed by an 18-race program at midday. All races counting towards USBK and the Irish championships.
On Sunday 22nd a different format of one set of longer races including two non-championship feature races. The Neil Robinson Memorial Trophy race is for the Superbike and Supersport machines. The fastest 36 competitors from Saturdays two races will be invited to compete for the coveted Memorial Trophy. The Neil Robinson Trophy winner will also collect £1000 prize money for their efforts.
The Donny Robinson Memorial Trophy race is for the fastest 36 competitors in the Lightweight Supersport, Pre-Injection and Twin classes plus invited riders.
The Robinson family from Cullybackey is one of Northern Irelands talented racing families that have suffered great loss to the sport. Neil “Smutty” lost his life in a crash during practice in 1986 at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough, just a few weeks after he won the Formula 1 race on the Skoal Bandit Suzuki at the Ulster Grand Prix. It was a tragic end to the young Co Antrim’s career. Neil’s older brother Donny came back from retirement at Grand Prix level and succumbed to his injuries sustained in a NW200 125cc practice crash in 1999. The USBK event is in memory of the two brothers who where members and close friends to the Mid Antrim 150 club.

The USBK Superbikes, Gerard Kinghan with a 37 point lead over Charles Stuart on 90 points, Charles missed the last round due to a mechanical failure. Ryan Gibson is now in third position on 65 points. Charles will be out to regain maximum points from Gerard Kinghan.

Supersport 600 races again prove the most exciting races of the day. Korie McGreevy who leads the Championship and returns from Knockhill BSB with his first BSB STK 600 win (congratulations) Korie has 106 points, Jason Lynn on 70 points and just one point ahead of Kia McGreevy.
Several Championship classes make up the other program races includes Supertwins, Production Twins. Sidecars, Pre Injection, Lightweight Supersport, Junior Cup & Young Guns, Classics,Moto 3 and Cup Classes.

The Mid Antrim 150 Club have a superb event in place for round 5 of the Championship and a popular 2 day event for the competitors.
All this excitement can be enjoyed for just £10 pp each day or £15 for both and under 12yrs go free.
Bishopscourt Racing Circuit has all catering and rest room facilities.
The circuit will be open from 4pm Friday 20th July for paddock set up.
Spectator weekend camping available from Friday Night.

Updates can be followed on our USBK facebook page, USBK Website http://ulstersbk.co.uk/
and Mid Antrim Club website http://midantrim150.co.uk/
Thanks to our USBK Championship Sponsors ;

Strong showing by Irwin brothers on Knockhill debut

Kilmacrennan, County Donegal based Motorcycle Racing Team, Irwin Racing, took on yet another new challenge over the weekend of July 6th to 8th, as they tackled Scotland's' Knockhill circuit for the first time. The teams riders, Rhys and Caolán Irwin both improved every time they went on track, with Rhys finishing the weekend with his best result of the season in the Moto3 class and Caolán taking home another strong top ten finish in Superstock 600.

The younger Irwin brother, Rhys, made a huge leap forward at the latest rounds of the British Moto3 Standard class at Knockhill. On his first visit to the Scottish track, and coming off the back of a very successful test at Kirkistown, Rhys was immediately closer to the pace of the front runners than he had been all season and finished the weekend with his best ever Moto3 result.

Starting closer to the front that previously, Rhys was ninth in opening practice, a second off front running pace. By Qualifying he had reduced this gap to just two tenths of a second to force his way onto fourth place on the grid for race one. A less than optimum start in the first encounter dropped Rhys to sixth and by the time he got back to fourth the leading trio had opened up a gap which he could not close. The fifteen year old pushed hard for the remainder of the race and was happy to bag fourth place, easily his best finish of the season, and was also delighted to be running at the pace of the top three throughout.

The start of race two saw the Kilmacrennan rider drop back down the field as he got pushed wide through the first complex of corners leaving him ninth at the end of lap one. Over the next four laps Rhys was the fastest rider on track as he moved into fourth place by the end of lap three and began to close on the leaders. Eager to get his first podium, the Motorcycling Ireland back rider pushed but having caught the lead group he clipped the back wheel of the third placed rider and crashed out to bring a slightly disappointing end to a very positive weekend.

Caolán Irwin arrived at Knockhill full of confidence following his recent third place finish at Snetterton but knowing he would be up against it as one of the few riders in the field making his Knockhill debut. A solid start saw Caolán sitting twelfth in practice, one point four seconds off the fastest time. An improved time in the second session, and again in qualifying, saw him drop to fifteenth in the order, underlining just how competitive the Superstock 600 class is.

Seventh in Sunday morning's warm up session gave the Donegal rider the boost he needed as he closed the gap to the front to under seven tenths of a second, boding well for the race. A fantastic opening stint took Caolán up to eleventh by the end of lap six when the safety car was deployed. With the race restarted after a lengthy delay, Caolán's progress continued as he climbed as high as seventh, before a technical issue caused him to lose ground, falling back to his final finishing position of eight.

Speaking after another weekend of progress, Rhys and Caolán's father, Ivan Irwin, said, “As a small family team, deciding to run the boys ourselves in BSB for the 2018 season was huge challenge for us, both in terms of commitment and finance. Caolán and Rhys are both in hotly contested Championships and I can only say how proud I am that they have progressed so quickly. Thankfully they have a very small but good group around them and we are very grateful not only for the financial help that they are receiving but also for the guidance and help at the track. Most notably from Motorcycling Ireland, James Gallagher Oasis Bar, Wesley Regan Clean Rubber, Wogan performance, Crank Racing, Mark Arnott Moto Shoxs, DS Waste Kilmacrennan, James Gibbons Electrical, Sean McKinney Construction, Mondello Park, J Tech Sports and Pony Express Couriers.”

Irwin Racing will be back in action in two weeks time on yet another new track as they tackle the full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit for the first time.

Supersport Cup treble wins Eoin Collins 'Young Racer of the Year' nomination

Eoin Collins form County Clare has been nominated for the 'Young Racer of the Year' award following a string of excellent results in the Dunlop Masters Supersport Championship at Mondello Park in June. The twenty year old picked up a hat-trick of Supersport Cup wins to secure a place in the Young Racer of the Year award final in October.

The Masters Young Racer of the Year award is open to any rider who is under twenty three and competing at the Masters. At each event one rider is nominated to go forward to the end of year shoot-out where they will have a chance to battle for the €10,000 prize which is provided by Mondello Park, Dawn International and EICL.

Following a couple of seasons racing in the Thundersport UK championship Collins returned home to the Masters for 2018 with a view to winning the Supersport Cup championship and the Young Racer of the Year award. The season started well with a pair of podium finishes at the opening event, followed up by a trio of wins at the next. A non-finish at round seven in May proved costly for Collins, as he dropped points to the series leader Keelim Ryan, but things would improve again at the June Masters where he secured his second treble of the season.

The opening race of the June event was a turning point for the Clare riders season. A battling performance saw him recover from a poor start and overtake his main championship rivals Keelim Ryan and Kevin Baker, on his way to the Cup win and fifth overall. An almost identical story in the second race produced Collins' second win of the weekend and closed the points gap to Ryan once again. The third victory was more straight forward as he led the Cup battle from the start on his way to fourth overall.

Speaking on hearing of his nomination, Collins said, “We've been working rally hard this year putting in the maximum effort and commitment, so I'm delighted that it's paid off with me receiving this nomination. So far the results have been really strong and I'm enjoying the battles in the Cup class, which are really hard fought. I'd like to thank the judges for nominating me and my Mam and Dad, along with all my sponsors, as none of this would be possible without them. Thanks too to Mondello Park for running such a great series this year and for putting up the Young Racer award along with all of the other sponsors.”

Eoin Collins now joins Aaron Wright, Caolán Irwin and Jamie Lyons in the October final. As part of his prize he will also receive a free entry, testing and garage space for the next Masters event he competes at.

For more information see www.masterssuperbike.ie/young-racer-of-the-year.

Friday, July 13

2018 Race of the South – Walderstown welcomes this weekend

The Race of the South takes place this weekend on the Walderstown circuit in Westmeath. The most central roads circuit in the country draws huge crowds to view the high speed straight at the start\finish as well as the tricky tight sections out the back.

Top entries are expected to entertain fans in Superbike, Supersport and all support classes also. Expect local rider Derek McGee to go well there but, Derek Sheils and Micko Sweeney will be both be in the mix too. Wander round the paddock to get a good look at the cracking motorcycles that will be taking to the road this weekend.

Roads close Saturday afternoon\Sunday morning, so get there early and find a good spot to spectate. The weather is to be excellent and we recommend plenty of sun oil and water but, there will be catering on site too in case you run out.

Bear in mind that many times we are allowed race the roads due to the good nature of local land owners that give up their property to us for the weekend. Please respect the area you stand in and leave it as tidy as you found it.

Marshals and officials are there for your safety, please obey their instructions and keep out of prohibited sections.

Wising the Club, Riders, Travelling Marshals and Medics a brilliant weekends racing.

Words and images – Andy Quinn

Tuesday, July 10

Michael Sweeney treble in Skerries

Local rider Michael Sweeney prevailed at the Skerries 100 on Sunday, in solemn conditions, taking wins in the AXA Open, Kennedy Motorcycles Supersport and Country Crest & Des D’Arcy Grand Final. Pushed hard by Paul Jordan and Andy Farrell, Sweeney completed the hat-trick on Sunday evening. Darren Cooper and Kiwi Daniel Mettam rode a brilliant Grand Final to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The Peoples Race Supertwin contest was won by Andy Farrell, with Micko Sweeney in 2nd and Darren Cooper in 3rd. Michael Browne also impressed over the 6-lap race.

Eoin O’Sochru took the win in the Convent Lane Motors\Man O’War GAA\Hills Cricket Club Junior Support race from Stephen Morrison and Barry Sheehan in 3rd. The 250r race was won by John Ella and the 400cc class honours went to Stephen Morrison followed by Brian Loughlin. In the 125 race, Nigel Moore came home in 1st from Sean Leonard and Gary Jordan.

Michael Browne was on the top step of the Hughes Sales and Service – Tow My Car Senior Support Race and Wayne Sheehan was 2nd. Dermot Cleary was 3rd over the shortened 4 outing. A result was declared following a red flag.

In the Classic 250\350 HMS Security\B&V Nurseries competition, Barry Davidson emerged as a victor over Ed Manly and Sean Leonard in the 250 race. The 350 result went the way of Brian Mateer with Philip Shaw in 2nd. Trevor Stewart completed the podium in 3rd. The larger capacity Classic race was sponsored by ASM and the Seaver family. The 500cc race was won by Ed Manly from Barry Davidson and Sean Leonard in 3rd. The 1000cc category win went to Robert McCrum with Richard Ford in 2nd. Trevor Stewart was 3rd in the race.

Some wonderful racing over the weekend in glorious sunshine was obviously overshadowed by Saturday evenings tragic incident resulting in the loss of William Dunlop.

Deepest condolences to the family, friends and enormous network of fans across the globe.

Words and images Andy Quinn

Sunday, July 8

William Dunlop - A tribute

The untimely passing yesterday of William Dunlop sent a shock though the Road Racing community not just in Ireland but, across the Road Racing world. An enormous talent has been bitterly taken.

William was one of the most popular riders in the paddock and not because of the historic family he came from but, because of his absorbing personality, infectious grin and willingness to mingle with the public and fans alike. He was a huge draw to the Short Circuit and Road calendar and the void left behind is simply too large to fill.

Off the track William was a doting father to young Ella and a devoted partner to Janine. True to his character William played in a charity soccer match earlier this year, raising much needed funds for the Children’s Cancer Unit at Belfast’s Royal Victoria hospital.

William Dunlop will be dearly missed by many, many people inside and outside the racing fraternity and we solemnly extend our deepest condolences to his immediate family, friends and fans.

Rest easy and Godspeed on your journey.

William #6

Words and images Andy Quinn

Saturday, July 7


Issued at approximately 17:15pm on 7th July 2018.

"The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club, organisers of the Skerries 100, deeply regrets to announce that competitor William Dunlop of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, has passed away following injuries received in a tragic accident that occurred during practise which took place today 7th July 2018.

The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop's family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time."

Susan Plunkett, Clerk of Course of the Loughshinny Motor Cycle Supporters Club Ltd.

Friday, July 6

Refreshed Team109 all set for Highland Fling in Knockhill - Bennetts British Superbike

Team #109 make the trip northward to Scotland this weekend for the latest Bennetts British
Superbike championship event, hosted by the famous Knockhill circuit. It is once again a full stable of bikes in action for the Cork based team, with Kevin Keyes flying the flag in the Pirelli National
Superstock 600 class, with Dickies British Junior Supersport championship leader Eunan McGlinchey joined once again by Simon Reid on the Kawasaki Ninja 400’s.

Keyes had a tough weekend last time out at Snetterton less than three weeks ago. A few technical
issues and set up difficulties with the ZX-6 saw the Offaly rider struggle to keep with the front group
in the race. However, after a great effort in the race he was still able to secure a top ten result,
finishing the weekend in ninth place, holding onto fourth position in the championship standings, just one point behind Joe Sheldon-Shaw in third.

Series leader McGlinchey had an up and down weekend at Snetterton last month, continuing on his
solid run of form, finishing at the sharp end of both free practice and qualifying, before putting in a
fantastic performance in the first race of the weekend on Saturday evening, scoring yet another win
to add to his tally, and extending his lead. However, after a race long battle in race two with Elliot
Pinson, McGlinchey made a mistake as they entered the final corner, on the final lap, crashing out,
and unfortunately taking Pinson with him. Despite his first non-finish of the season, the Aghadowey
rider remains in the lead of the series by a healthy thirteen points.

2017 Irish Supertwin champion, Simon Reid will once again be in action this weekend on the second of the two Kawasaki Ninja 400 machines. Team #109 following Snetterton have part ways with Brendan Glover. It is a decision that was not taken lightly by the team, and everyone wants to wish Brendan all the very best with his young career, and we hope he finds success. Team manager Paul Tobin commented; “It is a pity it did not work out with Brendan this season, for one reason or another. He is a talented young rider and we all enjoyed working with him this year. We really wish him all the best for his future.”

Following on from the departure of Glover, Reid will once again be in action for Team #109 this
weekend, following on from his solid performance at Snetterton last month. Improving session by
session throughout the weekend, before scoring a top ten finish in his very first British championship race on Saturday evening, coming home in eighth. He looked set to score a top five finish in race two on Sunday evening before a technical problem saw him retire as they began the final lap. Hopes are high as the team heads to the sole Scottish round of the series, and are aiming to help Kevin recapture his early season form, and hopefully make a push for the Pirelli National Superstock 600 podium once again. Despite his difficult end to the Snetterton weekend, McGlinchey is hopeful of scoring  ore silverware and once again extending his lead at the top of the Dickies British Junior Supersport series. Following on from his solid showing in his British championship debut, Simon Reid is keen to continue his improvements on the Kawasaki Ninja 400, and secure some more point scoring finishes.